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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

California's Fair Share From Indian Casinos

September 27, 2003

Re "Tribes Have Become Players in Sacramento," Sept. 20: Indian casinos in California are not subject to state taxes because they are on land considered to belong to a sovereign nation, thereby not paying their fair share to the state treasury from their $5-billion-a-year revenue. But Indian casinos in California evidently have been able to afford to contribute $120 million since 1998 to politicians and political parties, thereby greatly influencing (and corrupting) the political process.

Some states, including Connecticut (which reaps 25% of Indian casino profits), apparently are more enlightened than California when it comes to Indian casinos contributing their fair share to the state, just as individuals and corporations do.

For California to get its fair share from Indian casinos, I propose the following: establish at the entrance road to each casino a "border crossing station." Collect from each person entering these sovereign lands an entry fee of $20. This will help compensate California for the infrastructure support it provides for these enterprises.

Don Hilgendorf

Irvine

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